Aside from this, on a personal level I am looking forward to taking part in an event that celebrates my 40 year reunion from my old school at St Laurence’s College. Whilst the conversations will no doubt recall many of our stories as students, recalling the contributions that many of our teachers had on us will also be a big part of the reunion. My recollections of my school days are dotted with many influential school staff – both teachers and non-teaching staff.
Schools today are complex organisations that rely on many people coming together with a shared vision and understanding to provide an environment and a culture that hopefully brings out the best in all our students. Whilst it is easy to understand and recognise the contributions that teachers make in students’ lives, I am also very aware of the contributions that so many of our staff who are not teachers per se make to ensure that we are the College we aspire to be. Here at ATC we have staff who work tirelessly at our front desk, in administration, in classrooms supporting students with their learning, in our libraries, in our tuckshop, in our grounds, in our music and sporting programs – in fact, there are no areas of College life where our non-teaching staff don’t make a very real and a significant contribution to our community.
Earlier in the week I received a text message from the Queensland Independent Education Union reminding its members June 8 is a day to remember the contributions that school officers make in our schools. It certainly was a timely reminder to all teachers to be thankful for the wonderful contribution that our non-teaching staff make both to the students and the staff. I know in my role I am very aware of the support I receive both professionally and personally from the staff who work with me in the College administration office. I know that the work that Glynis Galletly does for me is very significant in supporting and enabling me to fulfil my role here at the College. Similarly I would hope that that all our staff both teaching and non-teaching staff understand that important partnership we all share with each other to deliver the kind of education we want and to be the kind of community we aspire to be.
I am confident in saying that I know of no other school who are fortunate to have a staff of the quality of Ambrose Treacy College. I am very fortunate to be in a position where numerous people, both from within our community and outside our community, regularly compliment me on the quality of our staff. The most common thread in these compliments is that they seem to genuinely care either about their sons or meeting their needs when they are seeking help or information. I would like to acknowledge the great work that our non-teaching staff do at the College and assure them that their contributions are not going unnoticed by the lucky recipients of their care and support.
As the Federal Election gains momentum, it is important for all school communities to be aware of the funding issues that directly affect Catholic schools. Each major political party is currently presenting to the electorate their particular policies in regards to how funding will be distributed if they are elected. Like all schools, Ambrose Treacy College as a Catholic school relies significantly on both Federal and State Government funding to assist in its operations and we are extremely grateful for this. If you are wondering what the various political parties are presenting as their policies on education funding click here. The federation of Parents and Friends Associations of Catholic Schools in Queensland has an excellent website which is well worth perusing also in relation to this area. It can be accessed by clicking here.
The death of Muhamad Ali last week brought the close to a remarkable human being. Not only was he an extraordinary sportsman, he was a person who helped shape and change the way in which many of us look at the world. Through his status as a world champion boxer, he brought to the fore many social issues that were not being dealt with. This week I read a piece from David Pocock on his Facebook page that I felt captured his wider contribution to our world. In part it read “What Muhammad Ali did—in a culture that worships sports and violence as well as a culture that idolizes black athletes while criminalizing black skin—was redefine what it meant to be tough and collectivize the very idea of courage. Through the Champ’s words on the streets and deeds in the ring, bravery was not only standing up to Sonny Liston. It was speaking truth to power, no matter the cost. He was a boxer whose very presence taught a simple and dangerous lesson fifty years ago: ‘real men’ fight for peace and ‘real women’ raise their voices and join the fray. Or as Bryant Gumbel said years ago, ‘Muhammad Ali refused to be afraid. And being that way, he gave other people courage.’
This weekend will see the halfway point of our co-curricular program for the year. I would thank all our parents who are able to find the time to support their sons as they live out their dreams on the sporting fields and cultural arenas. The many co-curricular activities we offer are an integral part of the total curriculum at Ambrose Treacy College. Sport and Music are wonderful mediums for the students to learn a lot about life. Not only is there an opportunity to develop skills in their training, practising and playing but importantly it offers an opportunity to experience a range of situations where attitude, commitment, co-operation and persistence are the important ingredients to ‘success’. These experiences include the opportunity to face the reality of disappointments, the value that determination and persistence plays in learning to succeed, the experience of how to express humility, and the real feeling of genuine team spirit and the collective energy that it can develop. These experiences are not available to all students in every game but the ebbs and flows of a season always provide a variety of learning experiences. I would like to thank all our staff who once again have unselfishly coached and managed the various teams. ATC is very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of staff who commit well above and beyond the call of duty. Similarly a number of parents have joined the staff in ensuring that teams are well coached and cared for and games are fairly and safely refereed.
With best wishes